Last night on August 6th, we hosted another meeting of one of our most popular recurring events--the Bookseller Bookchat. This time we had the pleasure of hosting Saratoga booksellers Cassidy Washburn and Kirstin Swartz and Northshire adult book buyer Stan Hynds. They shared these recent favorite books, and then we talked about even more books!
The definitive monograph on the most personable of modernist painters, Paul Klee: Life and Work, is back in print. This book presents both a biography and the most generous selection of Klee’s tender, magical paintings and drawings. In clear chronological groupings from his association with Wassily Kandinsky and Franz Marc’s Der Blaue Reiter group, to his core faculty position at the Bauhaus, to his branding as a “degenerate artist” by the Nazis, the full scope of Klee's art and life are methodically presented. I’ve always been enchanted by magical figurative paintings like Fish Magic and The Twittering Machine, but with this book I developed a new appreciation for his distinctly personal brand of abstraction. ~ Reviewed by Dafydd Wood
Last night on June 10th, Northshire Live hosted the second--and wildly popular--bookseller book chat as a virtual event. Joe Michon-Huneau from the Manchester, VT store and Mike Hare and Rachel Person both from the Saratoga Springs, NY store all shared some book recommendations--old favorites as relevant today as ever, recent releases, and a few forthcoming books! If you missed the virtual event, you can peruse the list here.
A triumph of scholarship, Alex Ross’s Wagnerism: Art and Politics in the Shadow of Music sets a new standard for cultural history. Ross, the New Yorker’s longtime classical music critic, follows his acclaimed history of modern music The Rest is Noise with nothing less than a panoptic view of the outsized cultural influence of Richard Wagner-the 19th century’s grandest artistic titan-on everything that followed. From Wagner’s earliest disciples, admirers, and sycophants (like prodigal son Nietzsche and early French champion Baudelaire) to the far reaches of his influence in Tolkien, Marvel movies, and vegetarianism, Ross crafts his own leitmotifs of themes, characters, and perspectives including Wagner’s role in gay culture, his notorious descendants, and his influence on all the major figures of modernist culture writ large. Centrally, Ross reckons with Wagner’s antisemitism, the long-reaching effects of his racist prose, and how, so entwined with Nazism, he became regarded as a kind of prophet for the coming of Hitler (a most devoted disciple to be sure). With propulsive prose, deft history-telling, and a crafty structure (starting at Wagner’s death and filling in with operatic summaries or background at always the right moment), Wagnerism becomes finally a brilliant examination of the tangled knot that is the interrelationship of art, politics, and history. ~ Reviewed by Dafydd Wood
Thanks to everyone that joined last night's special edition of Northshire Live which we dubbed Bookseller Happy Hour at Home. Mike Hare and Kirstin Swartz of the Saratoga Springs store shared some of their recent favorites, and Dafydd Wood of the Manchester store shared a few of his.